The neonatal pig ranks among the most prominent research models for the study of pediatric nutrition and metabolism. Its precocial development at birth affords ready adaptation to artificial rearing systems, and research using this model spans a wide array of nutrients. Sophisticated in vitro and in vivo methodologies supporting both invasive, reduction-science research as well as whole-animal preclinical investigations have been developed. Potential applications may dually benefit both agricultural and medical sciences (e.g., “agrimedical research”). The broad scope of this review is to outline the fundamental elements of the piglet model and to highlight key aspects of relevance to various macronutrients, including lipids, carbohydrates, proteins/amino acids, and calcium/phosphorus. The review examines similarities between piglets and infants and also piglet idiosyncrasies, concluding that, overall, the piglet represents an adaptable and robust model for pediatric nutrition and metabolism research.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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